This is one of our favourite science experiments and it is so easy to do and all you need is salt! In the US most people seem to be using Borax but here in the UK Borax is banned and unavailable, I've seen a Borax substitute but have never tried it so I don't know what the results would be using it. We've always had success just using salt (sodium chloride) to create our crystallized objects.
Feathers work the best but we most recently had success with some pine needles, the trick is to leave them in the salt water solution for a long time (the feathers are usually ready within a week but because the pine needles have a very smooth surface it takes a lot longer for them to stick and we left ours in for about 3-4 weeks.)
- feathers or pine needles
- craft stick and either mini pegs or string to hold it in place
1. Take your jar and fill it up with water and add that water to a big pot. Bring to a boil. Add your salt and let it dissolve. I always end up using a lot (like half a bag!) and wait until it forms a layer of salt at the top of the water. once it has reached this stage you know it will work.
2. Pour your salt water back into your jar and place your feather or pine needles into it. we have tried this experiment with many things, last autumn we tried autumn leaves which we didn't have very much success with because they were too smooth and the crystals had nothing to attach themselves to. We also tried a fabric leaf and it kind of worked but not as well as the feathers but I think that might have turned out better if we left it in for longer. We also tried seashells and this also worked quite well but again I should have let it sit for much longer.
3. Now wait! Let it sit in the mixture for at least a couple of weeks for the best results! Or forget about them and come back to them a couple of months later which is what we had done with some feathers for some really great results!